In a recent appearance on Russian state television, Sergei Markov, a former adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, made headlines by claiming that Ukraine’s military will become “unified through gay sex” like the Spartans by 2025. This statement comes amid Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive against Russia, as they seek to regain control of territories like Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Markov’s comments are not just inflammatory; they are part of a broader strategy to weaponize anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments to justify Russia’s actions against Ukraine. This tactic is deeply rooted in Russia’s domestic policies, which have long targeted the LGBTQ+ community. Laws banning the promotion of LGBTQ+ rights and reports of violent persecution in regions like Chechnya underscore this point.

The adviser also claimed that the U.S. and Ukraine are planning to use “neuro-linguistic programming” to turn Ukrainian soldiers gay, a claim for which there is no evidence. Such statements aim to stoke fears and prejudices, diverting attention from the real issues at hand, such as Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.

While Markov cites the Spartans to make his point, historians note that same-sex relationships in ancient Greek societies were more complex than he suggests. The Spartans, for instance, had a nuanced approach to same-sex relationships, which were part of broader social and military structures.

In summary, Markov’s comments serve to fuel anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments as a means to rationalize Russia’s actions in Ukraine. This is not just a distortion of history, but a dangerous manipulation of social prejudices to serve a political agenda.

  • Markov’s comments are not only offensive to the LGBTQ+ community, but they are also historically inaccurate. The Spartans did not have a unified military, and there is no evidence that they used same-sex relationships to unite their soldiers.
  • Markov’s comments are also a reflection of Russia’s own homophobia. The country has a long history of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and these comments are just the latest example of this.
  • Markov’s comments are also a dangerous attempt to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. By scapegoating the LGBTQ+ community, he is trying to shift the blame for the war away from Russia and onto its victims.
  • We must not let Markov’s comments go unchallenged. We must speak out against hate speech and discrimination, and we must stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.